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Laurie Niles

Thanks to YOU!

November 24, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Over the years, many people have written to thank Robert and me for bringing into the world and keeping it running. But today, on the Thanksgiving holiday in my country, I would like to extend my gratitude to you.

I like to think that the ".com" in "" stands for "community" and it is YOU -- the readers, contributors and supporters of this website who have made this website into a worldwide community. Without you, it would just be "Violinist"!

With 31,417 registered members and counting, I can't thank everyone by name. But I'd like to just list a few of the people and stories that make me thankful that somehow I have the privilege of running

So thank you many times over, for….

  • The many artists I've had the privilege of interviewing.
  • The sponsors of
  • Robert Niles, my husband, who bought this domain name for me, his violinist wife, in 1997. Then he made my ideas come true with his brilliant ability to program, and he contributed plenty of his own ideas. (For example, "You should write a blog, Laurie.") Thank you Robert!
  • Dozens of impassioned discussions on whether or not to use a shoulder rest. :)
  • The times when this community has come together and offered its kindness and generosity to a stranger.
  • Our Alaskan bureau, headed by Emily Grossman, whose shares not only her violin insights but also her many talents: drawing, photography, writing
  • Buri's (Stephen Brivati) dispatches from Japan, not just about the violin, but about the tsunami recovery.
  • Emily (Liz) Hogstad's devotion to the history of women violinists and to the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Rachel Barton Pine. You awesome woman.
  • The wonderful writing of Terez Mertes.
  • Hilary Hahn's quirky videos.
  • All the artists who have provided us with CDs and DVDs to give away to you!
  • Violin limericks :)
  • Young people, and Rock 'n' Roll.
  • Mark O'Connor and his quest to make American Music a major part of the conversation.
  • Mendy Smith going through the alphabet and playing something by composers with names starting with every letter!
  • Everyone who writes a blog, shares an insight, describes an experience.
  • Everyone who asks a question, everyone who seeks to better themselves; everyone who answers in good faith, everyone who tries to help.
  • I have not even begun to list everyone and everything -- this list goes on and on! It all adds up to the rich experience of many talented people, with all the inventive ways we practice our art. It doesn't matter where you are on the the spectrum, whether you are just beginning your journey, at the peak of it, or beyond. Having all of you in my life is something for which I am deeply grateful. I thank everyone for your humor, for your passion, for your devotion to the art of the violin. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day.

    From Patty Wiegelman
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    THANK you for an amazing website that has been motivating, informative, and made me laugh. I recently joined, and posted a question and was shocked at all the replies and well thought out answers. You hit it perfectly when you wrote about helping strangers... I am so happy and thankful that I have joined this wonderful community and look forward to learning and growing as a new violinist. Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Patty :)

    From Patrick Lengkong
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM
    As I said yesterday in a Facebook post, Thanks you for making this my life would be incomplete without this ( And my violin! ) Happy Thanksgiving!
    From Emily Hogstad
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM
    What an honor to be on the list, Laurie. I can assure you that I'm just as thankful for the outlet of this website as you are for any contributors to it. Without it, my life would have been a very different, much lonelier thing, let me assure you... I hope and pray your holiday season is a beautiful one full of love, laughter, and music.
    From Paul Deck
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM
    Yes, .com stands for community, but the sense of the community, the feeling of openness, collegiality, and commiseration -- these have to come from the top, especially in a young organization when it is growing. Congratulations and thanks (yet again) to you for achieving that. It is not so easy as one might think.
    From Tom Holzman
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 12:05 AM is really unique, and we are all thankful for your creation. For me, the friends I have made as a participant are perhaps the most important aspect, but the world it has opened up for me in general is also important. The site has surely taken on its own life in so many respects; it has an organic nature that is in so many ways unexpected. Good job!
    From Emily Grossman
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 2:16 AM
    Thanks for connecting me with so many amazing and unique people, Laurie!
    From Emily Grossman
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 4:51 AM
    I just watched that touching video. :)

    Who is the girl at :07 ? I know that photo, but I don't recall who she is.

    From Laurie Niles
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 6:29 AM
    I don't know! I was wondering if it was Alison Krauss, who is singing. She is a fiddler...

    Thanks for all your comments, everyone, and a big your welcome as well. Hope everyone had a great day. Ours involved an early-in-the-day turkey dinner, and then for a light supper Robert made chestnut soup...mmmmmmm!! And I got to practice for a really long time, and take a walk, and quilt. Great day!

    From Erika Burns
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM
    Thank YOU, Laurie (and Robert)!!!! We are all immensely grateful for this community.
    From Mendy Smith
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 3:38 PM
    Thank YOU Laurie! Which reminds me..... I have a long overdue date with my alphabet - skipping around a bit... "H" has a nice ring to it.
    From Laurie Niles
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 7:39 PM
    Haydn? Hindemith? :)
    From Emily Grossman
    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 8:55 PM
    Allison Krauss is the one singing. She sings on most of her albums. She has a sweet voice, but I've always preferred her fiddling.
    Posted on November 30, 2011 at 6:23 PM
    Dear Laurie,

    Thanks to people like you our musical lives are much richer and happier.

    What you do is a wonderful contribution to the magic world of the violin. I wish there were more many people like you in this world !!

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